This lecture will be a hybrid event meaning that Friends of the RAS will be able to attend in-person or online via Zoom. A ticket link will be emailed to the Friends of RAS in due course.
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One of the most exciting challenges of modern extragalactic astronomy is to understand how the first galaxies emerged from a dark Universe and how their physical properties evolved with time. Huge advances have been made over the last decade, thanks to the arrival of new telescopes and instruments and new deep and wide surveys. In just 10 years, the observational frontiers of the Universe have been pushed from a redshift around 8 in 2012 to a redshift around 17 in 2022, and the number of known galaxies beyond a redshift of 6 has jumped from a dozen in 2012 to several hundreds in 2022, including a dozen beyond a redshift of 9! It is now possible to determine some key physical properties of individual high-redshift galaxies. By studying the whole population of very high-redshift galaxies, we can also constrain when the first generation of galaxies formed in the early Universe (known as Cosmic Dawn). In this talk, I will describe some of the latest results on the physical properties of the first generation of galaxies.
Nicolas Laporte is a Kavli Senior Fellow working at the University of Cambridge. He obtained his PhD at the University of Toulouse in 2013, before moving to the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile. He returned to Europe in 2016 as a Research Associate at UCL in the team lead by Prof. Richard Ellis, before moving to the University of Cambridge. His main expertise is in the search for and study of the most distant galaxies, combining data from ground-based and space telescopes. He detected the most distant stardust in a galaxy, observed 800 million years after the Big-Bang, and has demonstrated from the study of the stellar populations of very distant galaxies that Cosmic Dawn should have happened earlier than we thought.